My Career Profile under different Prison Leaderships


(The ratings at the end of each described period are personal to me and should never be taken as the rating of the prison leadership.  Those are merely tentative grades depending on how I fared during the administrative term of each prison leader.)

  1.  GENERAL VICENTE R. RAVAL:  He was the longest reigning director of prisons (corrections) in the correctional agency.  It under his regime, in 1977, when I would be employed as Guidance Psychologist.  A few years later, I would be promoted one level up and another, until I would be appointed Chief, Reception and Diagnostic Center.  I would become one of the youngest Division Chief in National government.  I was then 26 years old.  (HIGH MARKS)
  2. GENERAL VICENTE EDUARDO:  He succeeded Director Raval and became one of corrections liberal administrators.  He was formerly police chief of Baguio and earned his loyalty feathers by turning over the infamous Yamashita golden buddha to the mother of President Marcos.  During his incumbency in the Bureau of Prisons, he allowed me to participate in JICA (Japan sponsored seminar).  He stood by me when an anonymous complaint reached the Foreign affairs that I am disqualified to leave the country because of my association with communists.  He personally assisted me until I reached and completed a course in Japan.  (HIGH MARKS)
  3. COL. EDMUNDO CEA:   His administration is the shortest in terms of timeline and the most scandalous, as it was marred with a lot of shame and wrongdoing.  To think that he assumed command at the height of Aquino administration was an ironical and tragic twist for corrections.  I was ordered to leave RDC and transferred to a Siberian assignment at Leyte.  I called for a general meeting at my office in RDC and tore up the memo.  It was trouble in the agency.  And I am in charge of a faction of mutinuous officers.  After 4 months, Cea was unceromoniously booted out.  (LOW MARKS)
  4. GENERAL  MELITON GOYENA:  He was the only Director who assumed his post without fanfare.  He never came with a retinue of aides.  As a matter of fact, he drove himself up aqlone, asked the employees how to get to the office of the Director, met the staff and worked.  His presence is guts and courage in capital letters.  Amidst the scandal and torn loyalties, he guided corrections competently.  I became Penal Superintendent IV, the highest post in the agency (next to presidential appointed posts) during his incumbency and also, the youngest superintendent in the bureaucracy.  I was 33 years old.  (HIGH MARKS)
  5. MR. ERIBERTO B. MISA:  He was ultra traditional and very conservative.  I was relieved as NBP Superintendent and was given the post as chief, Planning and Technical Office, where I formed the first contingent of Prison SWAT.    It was not a career building period but I got a firm support in sustaining my officers camaraderie during this period.  (HIGH MARKS)
  6. GENERAL VICENTE G. VINARAO:   He was formerly a police consultant at the Office of the President.   His credentials speaks of volumes of accomplishments.  He is a lawyer, a top gun in law enforcement, a brilliant strategist (he garnered the top honor at the National Defense College), an extraordinary administrator (as PNPA Superintendent), an outstanding Presidential adviser for police matters , one of the best  criminology professors and a prolific author of books on investigation and corrections.  He came in fully prepared but with a lot of hangers on, mainly retired police officers, all hungry to take over posts traditionally reserved for the ranking officers.  I was immediately eased out from the mainstream and transferred to Davao, then to Palawan, then to Zamboanga before I finally settled in the freezer of NBP.  During this period, I accummulated 17 administrative cases and 2 criminal charges formulated by officers whom Gen VGV introduced in the organization, they  eventually became members of the so called dirty tricks department.(LOW MARKS)
  7. GENERAL  PEDRO G. SISTOZA:  I was restored to the post as NBP Superintendent and briefly assigned to Palawan.  (Mayor Hagedorn appealed to DOJ to reassign me elsewhere but not in Palawan.)  I was back in NBP and given the post of BuCor spokesman and Chief Executioner.  He also designated me to head the bids and awards committee and gave instructions to be transparent in government transactions.    I was also nominated to participate in a conference at Sydney, Australia.  (HIGH MARKS)
  8. COL RICARDO B. MACALA:    He was DOJ Secretary Hernando Perez’s fair haired boy.  And assumed post like Gen Vinarao—with retinues and hangers on also.  I was head of Public Information Office briefly and was called to assume command and take over the beligerent leadership in Davao Penal Colony.  For a year and a half, I was Dapecol chief and enjoying the perks of high office and involved in the academe. (HIGH MARKS)

(For a brief 3 month period, DOJ assigned DOJ Usec Ramon Liwag to sustain the break while awaiting for the appointment of the Director of Corrections replacing Director Macala.)

  1. GENERAL DIONISIO SANTIAGO:  I was never conscripted to assume command during the first few months of his administration and would relegate me in incosequential posts.  He denied my request for re-assignment in Davao and instead assigned me in the freezer.  After a few scandal that racked NBP, he directed me to assume command.  While in NBP, I was able to restore order and continued with my policy of abolishing gangs in the matter of administering  discipline and management of NBP prison community.   (HIGH MARKS)
  2. GENERAL VICENTE G. VINARAO:   As soon as he assumed office, he signed the first special order abolishing the Public Information Office.  As chief of PIO, I was virtually out of job.  I merely coasted along but never given a sound post.  I have no regular function, one day I am head of survey team in Tanay where NBP is proposed to be transferred, another day, as technical chair of CIW Mindanao, another occasion as Hearing Officer.  Its only in the last month of his administration that I was sent to a sensitive mission—dealing with armed rebels —at Davao Penal Colony.  After stabilizing the facility with so much risks, dangers and uncertainty, a prepared case was about to be issued to me, to justify my relief.  It was never issued at all since an order from the President called for his replacement by another official.  Much as I wish I could express my high regards and esteemed recognition on his leadership, he allowed himself to be influenced by people with questionable intellectual capacities to  downgrade my accomplishments and  leave me hanging with several administrative cases.   (LOW MARKS)
  3. GENERAL RICARDO DAPAT:  He assumed office with an air of bragadocio.  He even recruited his friends (retired police officers) and took over positions usually reserved for the ranking in the agency, in complete disregard of morale, laterally.  He managed the institution in a personalistic way reserving the process of decision making as if it is his household.  He would even treat his officers as if they are his vassals.  He was about to replace with his sychopant had it not for the unexpected trouble at the DOJ where he collided with the DOJ Secretary (Gonzalez) on the matter of handling the computation format adopted in evaluating Jalosjos’ prison term.(LOW MARKS)
  4. GENERAL OSCAR C. CALDERON:  He took over a scandalized correctional facility.  The previous leadership was booted out for mishandling the case of Jalosjos who was summarily released without DOJ clearance.  Director Calderon was a fresh air amidst conflicting management complexities.  He did not rocked the facilities and reserved the positions in the rank and file strictly for the qualified.  He supported all my programs and assisted me in my pioneering attempts to organize and renovate the correctional facility for women in Mindanao.(HIGH MARKS)
  5. GENERAL ERNESTO L. DIOKNO:  He was the President’s favorite go-to guy and he was the personal choice of the chief executive to handle the Bureau of Corrections.  He came in very matured and calculating.  He was full of compassion and understanding.  He never rocked the boat so to speak.  He wanted everything in its proper place.  His strictness is tempered with understanding.  Under his supervision, I was literally recognized and my efforts, notwithstanding his choices of local consultants—who are merely re-hash and reinvented personalities with questionable background, my record would be protected and never disturbed.  Under his administration, all the cases lodged against me—all fabrications in the first place—would see the light of justice.  All the cases  against me were dropped, dismissed and thrown out , by his office, by Ombudsman and the courts.  He stayed as prison director for only six months but his presence in my book is amazingly great.  (HIGH MARKS)

About Ven J. Tesoro

writer, prison officer, artist
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